Felony Drunk Driving

Ordinarily, a DUI is a misdemeanor unless the defendant causes more than minor physical injury to a third party as a result of a DUI accident, in which case the DUI will be prosecuted as a felony. A traffic collision which does not result in physical injury to a third party does not elevate the DUI to a felony. There are circumstances, however, where a DUI may be prosecuted as a felony without any evidence of a traffic collision or personal injury to a victim. 

If the defendant has three or more prior DUI or "wet reckless" convictions within a ten year period, the fourth DUI may be prosecuted as a felony. In addition, if a defendant has a prior felony DUI conviction within ten years of the incident leading to a new arrest, the subsequent DUI may be prosecuted as a felony.

Felony DUI charges based on prior convictions are considered "wobblers" which means that the prosecution has discretion to prosecute any new offense as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, it is routine for such offenses to be prosecuted as felonies, leaving it to defense counsel to try to argue for a reduction to a misdemeanor in court.

If you are facing a felony DUI prosecution, please contact experienced felony DUI lawyers, Gold & Witham for a free case evaluation.


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